December 9, 2009

SPECIAL EVENT! The Secret Science Club presents Climatologist James Hansen, Tuesday, December 15 @ 8 PM, $4

Global warming expert James Hansen rips the roof off the climate crisis
Too hot to miss . . .

James Hansen, climatologist, Columbia University professor, advisor to Al Gore, and longtime director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has been researching human-caused climate change for more than three decades, and he was the first scientist to testify before Congress on the threat of growing carbon emissions. Now, as world leaders meet in Copenhagen to negotiate a global emissions treaty, Dr. Hansen warns the Earth’s climate may be approaching one of three “tipping points” from which there is no return.

In his first book, Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity, Dr. Hansen raises concerns that current proposals would do too little to reduce heat-causing emissions and offers bold new strategies for solving the global warming dilemma.

Before & After
--Groove to earthy, low-impact tunes
--Try the sultry cocktail of the night, the Dark and Stormy
--Stick around for the sizzling Q&A
--Pick up a signed copy of Dr. Hansen's new book—it's hot off the presses.

This special edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, December 15 @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510 Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th

$4 cover charge. Come early to snag a seat!
Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+

November 28, 2009

The Secret Science Club presents Visual Neuroscientist Ben Backus, Tuesday, December 8 at the Bell House

Tuesday, December 8 at 8 pm, FREE!
Open the doors of perception with visual neuroscientist Ben Backus
You won’t believe your eyes. . .


At the back of the human eye, the retina is smaller than a penny and tissue thin. Yet it contains 100 million neurons. When the eye is open, the retina constantly transmits information on edges, angles, motion, and light intensity to more than 30 areas of the cerebral cortex. How does the brain process and interpret all this visual stimuli—and are our perceptions reliable?

Cutting-edge vision scientist Ben Backus of SUNY discusses how our brains learn to “see,” whether perception is linked to emotions, and optical illusions that are both illuminating and trippy.

Before and After
--Groove to synesthetic tunes
--Try our cockeyed cocktail of the night, the Parallax View (You’ll see the world in a whole different way . . . )
--Participate in the laser-sharp Q&A
--PLUS, stick around for a live set of holiday melodies with the band LA STRADA

The Secret Science Club meets @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510 Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th

Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+. Pocket protectors suggested.

November 18, 2009

And the Winners Are . . .

Thanks to everyone for bringing their creatures, bones, skins, and stories to the 4th-annual Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest. The competition was red in tooth and claw as judges Melissa Milgrom, Dorian Devins, and Robert Marbury viewed dozens of specimens, all vying to be the most beastly of them all. Many were worthy, but these--the fiercest--prevailed.
The Order of Carnivorous Knights Grand Prize (Best in Show) went to Ryan Matthew for Felis dancicus fighticus


Ian Maher took the Secret Science Club Prize for Best in Bones
with his goat-skull-and-crystal chandelier, "Halal."



The Rump Ape Prize for Best Hybrid Creature went to Natalie Stevens and her pal, Ralph.



Mike Zohn of Obscura Antiques (and 2007 Grand Champion) took the Rogue Taxidermy Prize, presented by the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists (MART), for his automatons--two 19th-century caged taxidermy birds that moved and sang. Check out the amazing video here.


The Most Twisted Prize, presented by MART, went to artist and 2006 Grand Champion of Taxidermy Takeshi Yamada for his stunning showmanship, sneaky sea rabbit, and collection of freakshow babies crafted from his own skin!



The Cabinet of Curiosities Prize went to Ronni Ascagni and Chrissie for their collection of weird wonders, including a cat princess and a charming double-bodied rat. Rata-two-ie
?


The Best Buddy audience prize went to Daisy Tainton for a group of delicate insect dioramas.

The Norman Bates Prize for Best Taxidermy went to Brooklyn-based taxidermist Melissa Dixson for her puppy on a pillow, little Chloe.
Photo credits: Felis dancicus fighticus, Goat Skull Chandelier, Automaton Birds, Takeshi Yamada, and Beast in a Box (Rats) by Tenebrous Kate; Natalie Stevens with Ralph, and Cat Princess with Friends by Jessica Elias; Insect Diorama by Daisy Tainton; and Puppy on Tuft by Eric Harvey Brown for Time Out.
Read more about the contest @ Love Train for the Tenebrous Empire!

October 30, 2009

The Secret Science Club presents the 4th-annual Carnivorous Nights TAXIDERMY CONTEST at the Bell House, Sunday, November 15 @ 8 pm, $4

Announcing the most beastly event of the year . . .

• Calling all science geeks, nature freaks, and rogue geniuses

• Your stuffed squirrel got game? Got a beaver in your brownstone? Then enter it to win in the Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest!

• Show off your beloved moose head, jarred sea cucumber, snake skeleton, raven remains, and other specimens. Compete for prizes and glory!

Eligible for prizes:
--Taxidermy (bought, found, or homemade)
--Biological oddities (articulated skeletons, skulls—and beyond)

• The contest will be judged by our panel of savage taxidermy enthusiasts, including Robert Marbury, co-founder of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists, and Dorian Devins, WFMU DJ and Secret Science Club co-curator

• Don’t miss the feral taxidermy talk by beast mistress Melissa Milgrom, author of the forth-coming book, Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy

Plus!
--Groove to taxidermy-inspired tunes and video
--Imbibe ferocious specialty drinks!

--Meet and try to beat Grand Master of Taxidermy, Takeshi Yamada of the Museum of World Wonders

Where: the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues), Gowanus, Brooklyn

When: Sunday, November 15.
Doors and pre-show at 7:30 pm. Taxidermy talk at 8 pm. Contest at 8:30 pm!

Cover charge: $4

Entrants: Contact secretscienceclub@gmail.com to pre-register. Share your taxidermy (and its tale) with the world!

Spectators are invited to cheer their favorite specimens.

Background: The Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest is hosted by the Secret Science Club, an organization dedicated to exploring scientific discoveries and potent potables. The contest was started in 2005 by Secret Science Club co-curators Margaret Mittelbach and Michael Crewdson to shamelessly promote their taxidermy-inspired book Carnivorous Nights: On the Trail of the Tasmanian Tiger. The event has since taken on a life of its own, with first-year winners Andrew Templar and Jim Carden—co-owners of the Bell House—now providing a permanent home for this beastly annual smack-down. Special thanks to Robert Marbury of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists, the Rump Ape, and Poe the Crow.

October 27, 2009

The Secret Science Club presents age-defying biologist Leonard Guarente Monday, Nov 9 @ 8 PM FREE!

According to conventional wisdom, 40 is the new 30. But how about 80 being the new 20? The search for a proverbial fountain of youth has been the subject of legend for centuries, but today the quest for a medical equivalent is the focus of intense research.

Molecular biologist Leonard Guarente pioneered the anti-aging field at MIT with his discovery of genes that control longevity. When activated, these longevity genes cause the body to conserve resources, and they’ve been found to “dramatically boost the life span of yeast, worms, mice and potentially humans.” Specifically, Dr. Guarente studies proteins called sirtuins, which regulate longevity genes and show great promise for developing therapies that slow aging. Dr. Guarente asks:
--Could future drugs decelerate the aging process and allow us to stay young longer?
--Could diseases of aging—cancer, Alzheimer’s, type-2 diabetes, and others—be prevented by prospective anti-aging medications?
--Could we extend not only our life spans, but our “health spans”?

Before & After
--Groove to genetically-altered tunes and video
--Stick around for the Q&A
--Try our cocktail of the night, the “Immortal Skol” (Rhymes with soul, baby!)

The “Secret Science Club” meets Monday, November 9 at 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510 Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th

FREE! Just bring your smart self! Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+

October 21, 2009

Sketchy Science!

Check out these drawings from the Sketchy Science Contest at the October 20 Secret Science Club . . . robots, future evolution, pair bonding, UFOs, and beer . . .

October 14, 2009

The Secret Science Club hosts the Imagine Science Film Festival and A NIGHT OF QUIRKY SHORT FILMS @ the Bell House, Tues, Oct 20, 8pm FREE!

SPECIAL EVENT: Techno noir. Animation. Documentary. Music Video.
Join us for a selection of short films from the Imagine Science Film Festival. The brainchild of SSC resident scientist/filmmaker, Alexis Gambis, the Imagine Science Film Festival attracted over 300 international entries this year. We’ll be showing some of the quirkiest and best-est entries at the Bell House, featuring subjects like madness & molecules, time travel & trans-species friendships, and the dwarf planet Pluto. Check out the following films from the USA, UK, Israel, France, Canada, and the Kuiper Belt: Naming Pluto, Animated Minds, The Moth and the Firefly, PCR Rap, Lab Waste, The Exquisite Corpse of Science, A Micrometer from Here, Natural Selection, and more!

Alexis Gambis, the festival's founder and artistic director, will be on-hand to answer your brainiest questions and oversee the mixing of the cocktails.

Before & After
--Groove to tunes from our mixology lab
--Participate in our “Sketchy Science” drawing contest. We’ll provide the paper. You draw a scientastic picture. Winners will be selected and prizes will be awarded by our panel of non-judgmental judges.
--Vote for your favorite film as part of the Imagine Science Film Festival’s “People’s Choice” award
--Imbibe the wide-angle cocktail of the night, the Digital Zoom
--Pick up some science swag from the film festival’s generous sponsors

The “Secret Science Club” presents the IMAGINE SCIENCE FILM FESTIVAL on Tuesday, October 20 at 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510 Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th

FREE! Just bring your smart self.
DOORS OPEN @ 7:30 PM. 21 and over.

The Imagine Science Film Festival runs from October 15 to 24 at a whole host of venues around the city. Visit www.imaginesciencefilms.com for a complete listing of events.

Upcoming events at the Secret Science Club

Mon., November 9—Renowned biologist Leonard Guarente on slowing the aging process

Sun., November 15—The return of the Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest!

October 2, 2009

Black Holes Sing! The Secret Science Club presents all-star astrophysicist Janna Levin at the Bell House, Tues., Oct. 13 @ 8 pm, FREE!

The term “cosmic ballet” has just taken on a whole new meaning. Apparently outer space has a soundtrack. It’s not Tchaikovsky, but … when two spinning black holes orbit each other, engaging in an invisible pas de deux, they create gravitational waves—essentially ripples in the fabric of space-time—that cause the cosmos to “ring like a drum.”

Astrophysicist Janna Levin is in hot pursuit of these orbiting drumbeats—and the information they carry about the distant universe. Predicted by Einstein’s theory of relativity, gravitational waves have never been directly detected. But the interstellar search is on, and two far-reaching space-science experiments—LIGO and LISA—now seek to capture and “hear” the beatbox of the universe for the first time.

A professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University, Janna Levin is the author of two award-winning books A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines and How the Universe Got Its Spots, as well as dozens of scientific papers on chaos, black holes, and the early universe.


Don't miss a single nanosecond of this cosmic talk! Grab your outer space boogie board and catch the groovitational wave . . .

Before & After
--Trip to far-out tunes and video
--Stick around for
out-of-this-world Q&A
--Try our quantum cocktail of the night, the “Cosmos-politan” (It will rock you into orbit . . .)

The “Secret Science Club” meets Tuesday, October 13 at 8 pm @ the
Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510 Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th

No cover charge! Just bring your smart self!


Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+

July 27, 2009

Jungle Love! The Secret Science Club presents botanical explorer Susan Pell at the Bell House, Tuesday, August 11 @ 8 pm, FREE!

Surrounded by the Coral Sea, the Louisiade Archipelago is a volcanic island chain stretching away from the southeastern extremity of Papua New Guinea’s mainland. These tropical islands are home to rare plants and animals found nowhere else in the world.

Earlier this year, Dr. Susan Pell led a five-person botanical expedition to the islands’ remote mountains, rain forests, and wet savannahs. The team’s goal? To locate rare and endemic plants and identify endangered ecosystems.

A molecular plant scientist at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and blogger (who sometimes sends posts via satellite phone), Dr. Pell chronicles her team’s search as they boat from island to island; hike across swollen rivers teeming with freshwater crocodiles; and encounter creatures such as giant spiders, walking “stick” insects the size of small branches, boa constrictors, and flying foxes.

So grab your boots and backpack . . . And don’t miss this hot and steamy, flower-powered adventure!

Before & After
-- Groove to tunes inspired by pistils and stamens

-- Try our cocktail cooler, the Tropitini! It’ll knock you from Cancer to Capricorn . . .

-- Stick around for the floristic Q&A

The “Secret Science Club” meets Tuesday, August 11 at 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510

Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th

FREE! Just bring your smart self.
Doors open at 7:30 PM. 21 and over.

July 5, 2009

Evolution Revolution! The Secret Science Club presents Donald Johanson—the discoverer of Lucy—at the Bell House, Tuesday, July 14 @ 8 pm, FREE!

Make your bones at the Secret Science Club. . .

Our species, Homo sapiens, is a mere 200,000 years old (give or take). Where did humans come from? How did we evolve? And what were our ancestors like? Fossil hunters have been asking these questions ever since Darwin developed the theory of evolution. And in the last few decades, we've been getting some pretty amazing answers. One find revolutionized the world's thinking about early human origins: In 1974 paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson discovered the bones of Lucy—a 3.2-million-year-old early hominid—in the Afar region of Ethiopia. With about 40 percent of Lucy's skeleton intact, she represented a new species, Australopithecus afarensis.

The founding director of the Institute for Human Origins, professor of paleoanthropology at Arizona State University's School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and author of the just-published Lucy's Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins, Dr. Johanson joins the Secret Science Club to discuss his historic find and the latest discoveries in human evolution:
--How many hominid species existed prior to humans—or even co-existed with humans? What were their habitats and behaviors?
--When did hominids begin to walk? When did big brains develop?
--Have fossil hunters located the common ancestor of humans and chimps?
--Why is Homo sapiens the only hominid species that survives?


Before & After
--Groove to bone-jangling tunes
--Stick around for the scintillating Q&A

--Snag a signed copy of Dr. Johanson's new book, Lucy's Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins
--Try our cocktail of the night--the "I Love Lucy!"

(And check this out . . . All of Lucy's lovely bones are on display in a new exhibit in New York City, titled "Lucy's Legacy: The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia" and organized by the Houston Museum of Natural Science. You can see Lucy for yourself at the new Discovery Times Square Exposition space in—you guessed it—Times Square.)

The Evolution Revolution edition of the Secret Science Club featuring Dr. Donald Johanson meets Tuesday, July 14 at 8 p.m. @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510
Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th

FREE! Just bring your smart self.
Please bring ID: 21+. Doors open at 7:30 PM.
Special thanks to the Houston Museum of Natural Science for bringing Dr. Johanson to New York City and making his appearance at the Secret Science Club possible.

May 21, 2009

Endless Forms Most Freaky . . . The Secret Science Club presents Marine Biologist Jack Costello at the Bell House, Tuesday, June 9 @ 8 pm, FREE!

The Undersea World of Jack Costello
Dive into summer with marine biologist Jack Costello as he lectures on the spineless wonders of the world’s oceans. Cavort with gelatinous and ghostly creatures such as jellyfish (cnidarians) and their comb jelly brethren (ctenophores). Feel the motion of the ocean, and ride the waves with copepods and zooplankton.

A professor of biology at Providence College and featured scientist in the PBS documentary The Shape of Life, Dr. Costello asks:

--Why do sea jellies have such creepy-seeming body forms?
--How do cnidarians and ctenophores kill their prey?
--What causes jellyfish invasions and how do gelatinous sea creatures get around?
-- Why is so little known about undersea invertebrates when they make up such an enormous part of Earth’s biomass?

Before & After
-- Groove to free-floating tunes and video from Davey Jones’ locker

-- Try our aquatic cocktail, the Alien Stinger. Looks like liquid… feels like fire!

-- Stick around for the utra-buoyant Q&A

The “Secret Science Club” meets Tuesday, June 9 at 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510 Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th

No cover charge! Just bring your smart self.

Please bring ID: 21+. Doors open at 7:30 PM.

May 13, 2009

SPECIAL EVENT: The Secret Science Club & Criterion Collection present a NIGHT OF SUBMARINE CINEMA at the Bell House on Sunday, May 17 @ 7 PM, FREE!

Get wet and wild with the surreal underwater films of Jean PainlevĂ©. Sea life has never been this sexy—or strange. Experience The Love Life of the Octopus, The Witches’ Dance, and more—all featuring “The Sounds of Science,” a 21st-century score created specially by indie rockers Yo La Tengo.

Marine scientist J. Rudi Strickler will be your guide to the depths . . .

(Films from “Science Is Fiction: 23 Films of Jean PainlevĂ©” courtesy of the Criterion Collection.)

Before & After
--Groove to siren song and liquid video

--Plunge into the “PainlevĂ© Periscope,” a cinematic cocktail that will give you aqua-vision

--Immerse yourself in the tidal Q&A and soak up some fishy door prizes!

This special edition of the Secret Science Club meets Sunday, May 17 at 7 p.m. @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510 Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th

No cover charge. Just bring your smart self!
Please bring ID: 21+

April 9, 2009

Brain and Memory: The Secret Science Club presents Neuroscientist Ottavio Arancio at the Bell House on Tuesday, May 12 @ 7:30 pm

The arithmetic of the brain is staggering. In just 3 lbs. of gray matter, there are 100 billion brain cells—each with branches connecting at 100 trillion synapses. Dozens of chemical neurotransmitters travel through this neural network, creating, storing, and accessing memories—the sum total of our sensations, thoughts, experiences, and knowledge. Currently, the brain’s total capacity for memory-making is beyond calculation.

But what happens when the brain loses its ability to remember new things? In his lab at Columbia University, neuroscientist Ottavio Arancio explores the molecular mechanisms of memory formation. He asks:

--Why do some people stop remembering?
--How does disruption of the brain’s pathways affect our ability to learn?
--Can new drugs slow, stop, or even reverse the process of memory-impairing diseases such as Alzheimer’s?
--What can we learn from forgetful lab mice?
--Can memory be enhanced? Will future medications act as brain boosters?

Dr. Arancio is a cellular neurobiologist at Columbia University’s Department of Pathology and Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain.

Don’t miss this dopamine-spiked evening . . .

Before & After
-- Groove to brain-bending tunes and video

--Enjoy the Cocktail of the Night—the “Brain Scan”

--Stick around for the mind-altering Q&A

The “Secret Science Club” meets Tuesday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510 Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th

No cover charge. Just bring your smart self! Please bring ID: 21+.

March 23, 2009

Destination Mars! The Secret Science Club presents Planetary Geoscientist James Head at the Bell House, Wednesday, April 1 @ 8 pm, FREE!

Put on your life support suits and set the dial to “extreme conditions” . . . the Secret Science Club is heading for the Red Planet via Antarctica.
Recent unmanned missions have revolutionized our thinking about Mars. The Red Planet is no longer known as just a dry dusty desert—but the repository for 2 to 3 million cubic kilometers of ice. Surprisingly, it turns out Mars may have a lot in common with the environment at Earth’s South Pole.

Mars expert James Head recently spent his “holidays” in Antarctica, studying the bone-chilling landscape for clues that might help explain the mysterious Martian terrain. Dr. Head asks: Could frigid water below the surface of Mars contain evidence of life—like the microscopic extremophiles surviving such conditions in Antarctica? What’s the latest news from recent Mars missions such as the Mars Express and Phoenix? Will Earthlings send a manned mission to the Red Planet?

Professor of Geological Sciences in the Planetary Geosciences Group at Brown University, Dr. James Head spent his early career at NASA, training Apollo astronauts and planning lunar landing sites. As a geological explorer, he has traveled around the world (and to the bottom of the ocean in deep-sea submersibles) to study volcanism and tectonism. He is the author of more than 300 scientific papers on topics ranging from glaciation on Mars to Venusian impact craters. Currently, he is a co-investigator for the European Space Agency’s Mars Express Mission, the NASA MESSENGER mission to Mercury and the NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper(M3).

Before & After
--Groove to spaced-out tunes and video

--Blast off with the Secret Science Club’s quantum cocktail of the night, the “Mars Express”

--Stick around for the out-of-this-world Q&A and music from Phantogram and Big Bang TV!!

The Secret Science Club meets Wednesday, April 1 at 8 p.m. @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510 Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th

No cover charge. Just bring your smart self!
Please bring ID: 21+. Doors open at 7:30 pm.

March 21, 2009

The Secret Science Club’s new “theme song”—written and performed by the Dead River Company

For those of you who missed seeing it performed live at Plutopalooza (before astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s tour de force talk), listen here and check out the lyrics below.

“Secret Science Club” by the Dead River Company

I’ve got a secret for you
It’s the kind of secret that will split your mind in two

Take my hand, I’ll show you wonders
The sharpest minds speak clearly
Where there’s lightning there is thunder.

[Chorus]
Hold on to your hats, kids (at the Secret Science Club)
Shocking information (at the Secret Science Club)
Gonna blow your mind out (at the Secret Science Club)
Indulge your science addiction
Because truth is stranger than fiction

You’ve got a light, I’ll make it brighter
You got me feelin’ like a particle in the Large Hadron Collider!

Come on girls, I’m no pretender
We’re just a ragtag bunch of pencil pushers slash the Universe’s defenders

[Chorus]
Hold on to your hats, kids (at the Secret Science Club)
Shocking information (at the Secret Science Club)
Gonna blow your mind out (at the Secret Science Club)
Indulge your science addiction
Because truth is stranger than fiction

Now you’ve cracked our little code
Well hush my love and face your fears and enter the unknown

[Chorus]

March 6, 2009

PLUTOPALOOZA! The Secret Science Club presents Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on Wednesday, March 18 at 8 pm @ the Bell House, $3 cover charge

photo by David Gamble

COUNTDOWN TO RE-LAUNCH . . .
Hold on to your wigs and keys, science scenesters! Union Hall and the Secret Science Club have been overwhelmed by audience demand---so it is now official: The Secret Science Club is moving from Union Hall to Brooklyn’s big new Bell House! PLUS, the Secret Science Club is debuting its first-ever "theme song," written and performed by the Dead River Company. Check it out LIVE before the Neil deGrasse Tyson lecture.

Special Event! Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson blasts off from the Bell House with a lecture on the "Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet," $3 cover

The icy little world known as Pluto is billions of miles from Earth. Yet, when the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to the status of dwarf planet in 2006, the reaction was out of this world. Defiant T-shirt slogans, and pity-filled songs all raged against Pluto’s sad fate. Hell hath no fury like a planet (and its fans) scorned. No one knows better than astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of NYC’s Hayden Planetarium, who was on the receiving end of much of this celestial wrath—including tear-stained hate mail from third-graders.

According to Tyson, Pluto may be a dwarf—but it’s still awesome. Now enthroned with its trans-Neptunian brethren in the Kuiper Belt, Pluto is the focus of intense scientific interest. NASA’s New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt spacecraft has already passed Saturn on a 9-year journey to reach and take a peek at Pluto and its moon Charon. The question, says Tyson, is not what we call Pluto, but “What’s out there?”

The director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, Neil deGrasse Tyson is host of PBS’s “Nova: ScienceNOW” and recently served on NASA's prestigious advisory council. He is the author of nine books, including his most recent The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet and the best-selling Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries. In 2007, Time magazine named Dr. Tyson one of the world’s 100 most influential people. What did People magazine name him? You got it, baby! He’s the "Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive.”

Don’t miss one freakin’ nanosecond of this cosmic talk. Get on your laser, Daddy and RIDE!!!!

Before & After
--Groove to heavenly tunes and video inspired by the cosmic ballet.

--Defy gravity with the Secret Science Club’s quantum cocktail of the night, the Big Bang (it will knock you into orbit . . .)

--Grab a signed copy of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s brand-new book: The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet

--Stick around for the extraterrestrial Q&A

The Secret Science Club meets Wednesday, March 18 at 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510 Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St.

$3 cover charge at the door. Please bring ID: 21+.

LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE. Doors open at 7:30. Come early to get a seat.

February 25, 2009

The Secret Science Club presents World Population Expert Joel E. Cohen on Wednesday, March 4 at 8 pm @ Union Hall

Can conservation succeed with 9 billion people on the planet?

Every day the world’s population grows by approximately 200,000 people. That means every 40 days, the planet adds enough new people to replace the entire population of New York City.

Mathematician and population expert Joel E. Cohen asks: How many Homo sapiens can the Earth support? How is the exploding human population affecting the Earth’s physical, biological, and chemical environments? What will happen as the population grows larger, older, and more urban?

A recipient of the MacArthur genius grant and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Dr. Cohen is Professor of Populations and Head of the Laboratory of Populations at Rockefeller University and Columbia University. His research deals with the demography, ecology, epidemiology and social organization of human and non-human populations and with mathematical concepts applicable to those fields. He is the author of more than a dozen books and over 300 scientific papers.

Before & After
--Groove to an ever-multiplying collection of tunes in Union Hall’s subterranean grotto, stick around for the Q&A, and try our explosive new cocktail, the Population Bomb.

The “Secret Science Club” meets Wednesday, March 4 at 8 pm @ Union Hall, 702 Union St. (at 5th Ave.) in Park Slope, Brooklyn, p: 718.638.4400 Subway: R to Union St.; F to 4th Ave.; Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Atlantic Ave.

No cover charge. Just bring your smart self.
Doors open at 7:30. LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE.


Tick tock . . .

February 10, 2009

Calling all filmmakers . . . Submit your science-themed film today!

Have you made an original narrative film with a scientific or technological theme? Or a film with a scientist, engineeer or mathematician as its leading character?

Then don't forget to submit your science-loving film to the 2009 Imagine Science Film Festival!

Mystery. Comedy. Techno thriller. Animation. And Beyond . . . Click here for a complete set of festival submission guidelines.

Once accepted, your film is up for 2 awards, sponsored by the science journal, Nature. The $2,500 Nature Scientific Merit Award will go to the film that most accurately portrays science. The $2,500 Nature People’s Choice Award will go to the film voted the best by audience members.

The Imagine Science Film Festival takes place in October 2009 in New York City. For festival updates, click here. And stay tuned . . .

January 26, 2009

Light Up Your Brain! The Secret Science Club presents Neurobiologist Vincent Pieribone at the Bell House on Wednesday, February 4 @ 8 PM. FREE!

Secret Science Alert: This month, the Secret Science Club meets at the Bell House, the all-new all-awesome venue in Gowanus, Brooklyn, created by the owners of Union Hall (our lovely hosts).

Make like a bathysphere and submerge, because the Secret Science Club is going down. Intrepid neurobiologist (and scuba diver) Vincent Pieribone lures us into the depths—where ocean research and brain science collide. Dr. Pieribone uncovers the secrets of the seas and technicolor reefs in his quest for biofluorescent creatures—and then shows how they can be used to create glowing proteins that make cells and neurons light up in the lab.

A cellular and molecular biologist at Yale University’s School of Medicine and the co-author of Aglow in the Dark: The Revolutionary Science of Biofluorescence, Dr. Pieribone asks:
--What do jellyfish and coral reefs have to do with the human brain and quest for medical cures?
--What makes undersea animals glow?
--How can biofluorescent technology link the human mind with machines?
--What are the latest advances in fluorescent micro-photography?
--And whatever happened to that transgenic, glow-in-the-blacklight rabbit in France?

Plus Special Guest: Marine Biologist and “Aglow” co-author David Gruber on coral reef ecology… DIVE! DIVE!

Before & After
-- Groove to glittering tunes and incandescent video
-- Stick around for the tidal Q&A
-- Try our oceanic cocktail: the Sea Shandy, a phosphorescent libation that will snap your synapses . . .
-- Grab a signed copy of Dr. Pieribone’s and Dr. Gruber's luminous new book: Aglow in the Dark: The Revolutionary Science of Biofluorescence

The “Secret Science Club” meets Wednesday, February 4 at 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510. Subway: F to 4th Ave.

FREE! Just bring your smart self.
Doors open at 7:30. PLEASE BRING ID: 21 and over only.

Tip: The Bell House has 2-for-1 drink specials before 7 pm if you want to get your sauce on before the lecture . . .

January 8, 2009

The Secret Science Club presents
"Living Skyscrapers—Ecologist Dickson Despommier Re-Envisions the City" on Tuesday, January 13 @ 8 pm

Step into the great glass elevator . . . the Secret Science Club is heading skyward with microbiologist and ecologist Dickson Despommier, whose ambitious project to create vertical farms in urban skyscrapers could radically re-vision the way we live—and eat.

A professor of environmental science and public health at Columbia University, Dr. Despommier asks:
--How might urban sky farms reduce global warming, and give “eating local” a whole new meaning?
--What technologies and architectural designs are appropriate for vertical farms?
--How did studying parasites in underdeveloped countries lead to his concept for living skyscrapers?

Dr. Despommier’s provocative ideas for re-thinking agriculture and land use have been the subject of recent articles in the New York Times, Time, New York Magazine, and Scientific American. Don’t miss this tall tale . . .

Before & After
-- Groove to towering tunes and vaulting video
-- Stick around for the lofty Q&A
-- And try our stratospheric new cocktail: the Mile Highball (you won’t be vertical for long . . .)

The "Secret Science Club" meets Tuesday, January 13 at 8 p.m. in the basement @ Union Hall, 702 Union St. (at 5th Ave.) in Park Slope, Brooklyn, p: 718.638.4400.
Subway: R to Union St.; F to 4th Ave.; Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Atlantic Ave.

No cover charge. Just bring your smart self.
Our venue fills up fast! Come early to get a seat.
Doors open at 7:30. LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE.

PLEASE BRING ID: 21 and over only. Pocket protectors suggested.

Design by Blake Kurasek, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign